Ferguson Fire: Popular part of Yosemite closed during peak summer tourist season

California

This popular part of Yosemite is closed during the height of the summer tourist season. 

You can see how the fire is burning on both sides of 140, the main way to get to the valley. 

A lot of tourists are disappointed and tour companies are making adjustments. 

Silence instead of the click of cell phone cameras. 

No visitors at the Visitor’s Center. 

Cabins emptied, busses idled, people movers stopped, picnic tables and parking lots deserted. 

The cashier at the Yosemite Village store was among those packing up and heading out. 

So was another family from Fort Worth, Texas.

“Definitely bummed you can’t control it.”

And these British visitors. 

“You get the Yosemite experience, but it’s not the full Yosemite experience.”

At Extranomical Tours in San Francisco, the call center is buzzing as the team helps customers make alternative plans. 

This time of year, the sightseeing company takes 5,000 visitors to Yosemite. 

“Guests who have come halfway around the world are still very much wanting to go.”

Because of the fire, President Gary Lillian tells KRON4 his company created the “Wilderness Tour,” which takes people to parts of the park that are open.

“Virtually every one of them has said ‘heck, I am here and I want to see Yosemite.'”

Smoke is obscuring the valley’s grand vistas of waterfalls and shear granite faces. 

The valley will be off-limits likely through Sunday. 

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